The Undercards: Kevin Kiermaier Comes Through as Bulls Tie ILCS

By David Hill

Much like their parent club, the Bulls had been mired in a hitting slump at the worst possible time, relying upon strong pitching performances in order to reach the Governor’s Cup Finals. Yesterday, while the offense was not stellar, The Bulls finally had a couple of breaks go their way as they went on to tie the series.

Durham Bulls 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 1 – Game Two, Governor’s Cup Final

Just like the opener, yesterday was another pitcher’s duel between PawSox starter Steven Wright and the Bulls J.D. Martin. Pawtucket got on the board in the third, as Martin gave up back to back singles to lead off the inning. A sacrifice moved the runners over, and Jonathan Diaz grounded back to the mound to plate Dan Butler with the game’s first run. With the way the Bulls had been hitting of late, it was possible that would have been enough.

However, Durham caught a break in the sixth. Jason Bourgeois singled to lead off the sixth, and Vince Belnome followed with a walk. After a double play groundout appeared to extinguish any hopes of a rally, a knuckler from Wright got past Butler, allowing Bourgeois to tie the game. The breaks continued to come in the seventh. Craig Albernaz reached second on a one out throwing error on a groundball to short, and Kevin Kiermaier followed with a double to left to give the Bulls the lead.

Durham pitching did the rest, as the Bulls held on to tie the series at a game apiece in the final game of the year at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. C.J. Riefenhauser picked up the victory, pitching two hitless innings of relief while striking out four. Martin continued his excellent season, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out three over six innings for a no decision.

Bourgeois and Belnome each had two hits in the victory.